Japan first listed Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo as national property shortly before its defeat in World War II, when Korea was under colonial occupation, and calculated the value of the land. The Asahi Shimbun on Monday said the Japanese Finance Ministry listed Dokdo as Takeshima in 1945.
The land was classified as "wilderness" measuring 231,371 sq. m. The ministry took over the rights to the islets from the Japanese Navy for around 2,000 yen at the time.
In 2001, Japan valued the islets at around 5.32 million yen, and in 2010 at 5 million yen. At the end of March this year the value had fallen to 4.37 million yen. The estimates are based on Japanese islands of similar size, with the drop in value reflecting a decline in Japanese real estate prices.
But Tokyo in 1945 took no steps to register Dokdo, which would have been necessary to claim ownership. The Asahi Shimbun said the ministry felt there was no need to register the property "since the ownership was clear."